…I will be their voice…

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 18 2011

most challenging week of my life…but I am stronger for it!

This week literally has been the most challenging week of my life. Not only am I in this INTENSE environment where everyone is constantly going 90 to nothing (literally my SOM can walk across campus in 30 seconds, so impressive), but I have also had to push my brain to open up a little more and take in A TON of knowledge, some I already knew and some I had no clue about. On Wednesday when I left school my assignment was to finish 4 lesson plans…I was stressed to the max because I had used my entire work time during the day trying to hash out my vision with my CS. It was SOO SOOO SOOO hard for me to understand WHY I should make my students do something, and for what purpose? After a very long day, I finally just did it…and it felt awesome to finally understand. I called my mom when I got up to my dorm room (which looks like a really nice prison and is absolutely FREEZING) and was telling her about how much I had to do and how it is such a stressful environment and BLAH BLAH BLAH….when the words came back “I have to make your day worse…” I said, “What?” I honestly knew I couldn’t take it…I didn’t want to hear it. I literally have SO much going on in my head that I really could not process anymore information. I heard the words “PawPaw is dieing…they are giving him hours…”

My honest to god words were, “I need to call my CMA.” I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t be sad, I had so much going on, I could not internalize what was happening to me. As soon as I got downstairs to the cafeteria and the words came out of my mouth to my CMA, I lost it. I could not even understand what was happening and how I was supposed to do all of this work and make it mean something for my 22 awesome summer school students when my pawpaw was dieing and I needed to see my big brother.

This is why I know TFA is for me. My CMA literally just hugged me until I was ready to be done hugging. She told me to find out when I needed to go home and that TFA would respect me and my family. I wasn’t going to have to quit. I wasn’t going to be an awful teacher, but that we would work through it NO MATTER WHAT. From that moment on, I spent then next 48 hours with the most SUPPORTIVE people I have ever met. They checked on me constantly, helped me finish my lesson plans, took me out for a drink and a sushi roll, asked if I need to talk….I felt like even though my family was a 2 hour flight away, I had a small family here who truly cared about me.

So today, Saturday, I am flying home to be with my family. The funeral is Monday afternoon and I am flying back on the first direct flight Tuesday morning so I can be in my classroom ready to teach at 9am. I am absolutely positive I will more than likely fail that first day…BUT I am such a stronger person because of this week and I know that NO MATTER WHAT I will work through it…and I have 140 Oklahoma Corps and 70 Valley View teachers who won’t let me fail.

And I am so grateful for that.

One Response

  1. Pat

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Pawpaw. What an awesome group you are working with and I’m glad they were there for you. Hope your weekend of family goes well and on Tues. you will be the best you can be. If everyday you show up and do your best no one can ever ask or expect more. :)

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Early Childhood

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